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Football, Week 6: Tigers shock No. 4 Irish, 28-17

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For about the first 2 ½ quarters of Friday night's game in Rosemount, things went as they had just about the entire season for the Farmington football team. The offense moved the ball well, but an interception and a special teams mistake left the Tigers trailing 10-0 against one of the top teams in the state in fourth-ranked Rosemount.

It was progress considering the last four meetings between the two teams resulted in Rosemount victories by scores of 53-21, 76-7, 56-15 and 49-0, but a 10-point deficit still looked daunting against an Irish defense that hadn't given up a touchdown in almost a month.

That's when things got very interesting very quickly. The Tiger defense, which hadn't forced a turnover in three games, forced three Rosemount fumbles in a span of eight plays and the offense rolled up four touchdowns in the final 13 minutes to shock the previously-unbeaten Irish 28-17 at Irish Stadium.

It was Farmington's first win over Rosemount since the 2005 section playoffs and first conference victory over its Highway 3 rivals since the 1978 season when both schools were members of the Missota.

“We had a feeling. We've been playing tough, but just shooting ourselves on the foot,” Farmington coach Adam Fischer said. “Rosemount is a good football team and we knew we were going to have to play well. I'm just really proud of our coaching staff and players for the effort they gave tonight.”

The Tigers' first three trips to the red zone resulted in a turnover on downs, an interception in the end zone, a punt and no points before they finally broke through on trip No. 4. After Rosemount quarterback Cody Hogan's second fumble in a row gave them the ball at the Irish 22, Farmington quarterback Kole Hinrichsen found Isaac Ferm for a first down connection on 4th and 3, setting up Alexander Hall's six-yard sweep into the end zone.

The score didn't stay 10-6 for long. Two plays later, Irish quarterback Blake Tamminen went up high over the middle to Griffin Lanoue, who hauled in the ball between two Farmington defenders and sprinted into the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown.

The Tigers (2-4) trailed 17-6, but their spread offense had found a groove and there was still 11-plus minutes on the clock. It took just eight plays, including two long completions to wideout Tim Robertson, to set up another Hall rushing score, this time from two yards out. Hinrichsen then hooked up with James Seivert on the two-point try, making it 17-14 Rosemount with 7:43 to go.

Three plays later, the Irish lost yet another fumble. This one was recovered by Farmington's Drew Johnson at the 47 and six plays later Hinrichsen busted across the goal line from four yards out to put the Tigers in front. The biggest play of the drive came from Seivert, who made a diving fingertip catch along the sideline on 3rd and 6 to set up first and goal.

The outcome of the game was still very much in doubt with Rosemount set to get the ball back with 3:09 to go. The Tigers sent the kickoff short as they had the entire game, but no Rosemount player landed on it and a sea of orange and white jerseys sprinted in for the recovery.

Two plays later, Hall tore up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown to ice the game. The jaunt accounted for 30 of Farmington's 69 total rushing yards in the game, but Hinrichsen made up for it by completing 19 of 25 passes for 261 yards. Robertson caught five passes for a season-high 108 yards and Ferm hauled in seven for 92.

Hall rushed for 67 yards on 14 carries.

“The offensive line did a great job. We've adjusted some things lately and we thought we had a good plan to keep Kole protected and Kole is the money man when we give him time,” Fischer said.

The Irish (5-1) passed for 119 yards and were limited to 131 rushing yards on 30 attempts.

Connor Kleiber led Rosemount with 80 yards rushing. Lanoue caught five passes for 110 yards.

Hogan was limited to 28 yards on 13 carries. He got the Irish on the board with a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter after Farmington fumbled a punt snap at its own 15-yard line.

Kleiber's 47-yard scamper set up a 24-yard field goal by Kenny Watkins that made it 10-0 Irish with 3:41 left in the first half.